Award, is the guiding force of the IESL.
He sets the standard for the institute and
makes it work as an integrated community of students, workers and mentors.
The equipment in the IESL laboratories
is similar to what I have seen in advanced
laser research laboratories in the United
States and Europe. When I perused the
publications from various laboratories at
IESL, the high quality of the research at
IESL was evident. I was impressed by the
friendly spirit of group cooperation in
the IESL, as well as by the work ethic of
the highly motivated students, administrative personnel and scientific mentors
and group leaders.
What sets the IESL apart from other
laser research centers is the scope of
its research. It covers a wide spectrum
that includes laser development, pulse
shaping, photonics, theoretical physics,
metamaterials and applications. There
is a strong culture of interdisciplinary
studies in physics, chemistry and biology.
The lab differs from other laser institutes
in that it possesses a very strong theoretical component in laser interactions,
photonics, materials and devices. Similar
labs outside of Crete tend to focus their
efforts on biomedical applications with
little research into fundamental experimental and theoretical laser physics.
My own interests directed me to the
groups that are researching secondary
sources, nonlinear THz optics, intense
laser beam filamentation and biomedical
applications, nonlinear microscopy, tissue engineering, in vivo optical imaging,
sensors, nonlinear lithography and materials nanoprocessing. There is a strong
collaboration between FORTH and the
adjacent Institute of Molecular Biology
During a brief visit to Athens, I was
shown the applications of novel customized laser cleaning of encrusted pollution from sculptures of the Parthenon,
the Erechtheion and the West Frieze.
Excimer lasers are used for removing
polymeric over-layers from painting;
this work is of immense importance to
the preservation of our cultural heritage
through art. The laser is a Q-switched
Nd:YAG that emits at the fundamental
Laboratory for ultrashort, nonlinear
laser interactions and sources.
Electron micrograph of nano-fabricated valve for human veins.
A marble sculpture from the Acropolis
in Athens that was partially cleaned with
a laser treatment developed at IESL-FORTH. The black regions are untreated; light tan areas have been cleaned.
( 1,064 nm) and the third harmonic
(355 nm); two laser beams are used
simultaneously with their pulses in
temporal and spatial overlap.
Challenges for foreign-trained
Many talented men and women obtain
undergraduate degrees in the sciences
at Greek universities and then travel
abroad to Europe or the United States for
graduate studies and postgraduate work.
Barry R. Masters ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a
Fellow of AAAS, OSA and SPIE. He is with the
department of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge,
[ References and Resources ]
>> Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas: www.forth.gr
>> The Institute of Electronic Structure and
>> The Institute of Molecular Biology and
>> B. Pullman. The Atom in the History of
Human Thought, N. Y. Oxford University
Press, N. Y., 1998.
>> M. Clagett. Greek Science in Antiquity,
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, N. Y.,
>> G. Papadogeorgos. Prominent Greeks of
Antiquity, Their Lives and Work, Athens,
July/August 2010 | 19